Our Community Life – Junior Youth Camp

Junior Youth Camp reflectionOver the weekend of February 14 – 16, 2015, twelve junior youth, two animators and one assisting youth gathered at a home in Gig Harbor for a three-day junior youth camp. The camp focused on studying and completing the  junior youth text Glimmerings of Hope, which over the course of twelve readings tells the story of Kibomi, a twelve-year-old from a small village in Africa who sets out to find his sister in another city after their parents fall victim to violent civil strife. Throughout his journey, Kibomi is presented with a number of opportunities to analyze prevailing social tides and begins to see the implications of the choices he makes. Every reading is followed by a few exercises designed to strengthen language skills, and help junior youth from every background think about how the understanding gained by Kibomi on his journey pertains to their own lives. This includes understanding and memorizing prayers, which the camp participants especially enjoyed putting to music together. To help reflect on and put into practice the concepts in the story, the junior youth engaged in a number of complimentary activities including taking a sailing lesson together, beachcombing and creating art from their findings, rising early together for dawn prayers, teaching a class to six children about preferring their brother, visiting a farm and doing a service project to help prepare vegetable beds, making candles, and creating skits about the story and unity. At the end of the camp, they hosted a celebration for parents and community members were they shared devotions, songs, art, skits, and thoughts about their experience.

The following are reflections from some of the junior youth who participated:

“It’s easy to get caught up, like the soldiers inJunior Youth Camp service project the story. But it’s possible to reflect on our actions. Despair is easier, but it brings more challenges.”

“God is the source (of strength and protection). In the analogy, humans made the boat, but God created the wood for the boat and the wind for the sail.”

“We can rely on Him and pray to Him and He might grant it if it helps make the world a better place.”

“God may illumine our hearts. Our hearts are made of glass, so it can be lit like a candle.”

“It was fun to see the children learn, to see them fully engaged.”

“It felt good to help people with their work. We also got to talk and socialize during it. It felt good doing good for other people, giving up our own desires.”

Junior Yout Camp Sailing 12At the end of our studies, some wrote the following:

“I am hopeful that this junior youth group can change the world in many different ways. I am hopeful for my family. I am hopeful that this world to be a more peaceful place, example no more wars, murders, robbers, bullies, and disrespectful people.”

“Hopeful means to me that you remain hopeful even when it is difficult. Hope is contagious it shouldn’t be hard to pass on. Hope is light and despair is the absence of hope, despair is not a thing in itself. I am hopeful that we will stay close to nature. I am hopeful that the arts and science be taught, be learned, be appreciated, and I am hopeful that we will never loose hope in the darksome night of despair.”

“I think hope means to me is not to stress about not having the little things in life. What I mean by that is that some people always complain about not having everything in life happen to them, they always give up, they loose hope.”

“Hope is knowledge, helping people. For example, being of service.”

“You have to trust God to have hope. Kibomi didn’t have faith or hope at first when his parents died. He needed to trust in God when his parents first died he should have prayer to God to make things better. Kibomi thought that he was not going to be happy again but he was wrong.”

Junior Yout Farm visit“Hopeful for getting a good education so I can go help people understand the purpose of material and spiritual intellect. Hope is being of service and striving through difficulties to be radiant. Through the hardest of times people think despair is easier so they lead a hard life, when you have hope you find/receive confirmation in difficulties.”

Reported by Stephanie Christy

Photos by George Dannells

 

 

Junior Youth & Children in Service to the Community

 

trash pick up

Junior youth and children from a neighborhood in east Tacoma learn lessons in contributing to the betterment of their community. Here, they pick up trash in their neighborhood. Photo by M. Yazdani.

 

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Planting a tree is one small step to help beautify the neighborhood! Photos by S. Christy.

 

 

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    Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and

    not in the pageantry of wealth and riches.

    Bahá’u’lláh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Locate the site of the House of the Báb in Shiraz

lmbabs~05m~maison-bab-shiraz[1]

Photo is from: http://www.bahai-biblio.org

The House of the Báb in Shiraz was the most holy place for Bahá’ís in Iran. It was destroyed in 1979 by the new regime. It is possible to go to Google Earth and see exactly where it was located.

 

It is advisable to first get a ground view of the site as it appears today. Go to YouTube and see a 33 second video showing the ground view: youtube.com/watch?v=qIdOFYDc3Rg.

Go to Google Earth and type into its search window “Dastgheib Blvd, Shiraz”, and it will take you to that precise location, which you will be able to identify from the video. It’s about in the center of the city. The small mosque in the video is the Bayt al Mahdi Mosque, which is, ironically, dedicated to the Promised One. The older and larger Now (New) Mosque is located next to it.

lmbabs~08m~maison-bab-shiraz[1]

Photo is from: http://www.bahai-biblio.org

See a video on Pilgrimage to the House of the Báb, narrated by Marzieh Gale and David Ruhe: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=pilgrimage+to+the+house+of+the+bab&qpvt=pilgrimage+to+the+house+of+the+bab&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=AC62DBD1D6925E99F5D6AC62DBD1D6925E99F5D6

 

 

 

Rain down out of the clouds of Thy bounty

O God, Who art the Author of all Manifestations, the Source of all Sources, the Fountain-Head of all Revelations, and the Well-Spring of all Lights! I testify that by Thy Name the heaven of understanding hath been adorned, and the ocean of utterance hath surged, and the dispensations of Thy providence have been promulgated unto the followers of all religions.

I beseech Thee so to enrich me as to dispense with all save Thee, and be made independent of any one except Thyself. Rain down, then, upon me out of the clouds of Thy bounty that which shall profit me in every world of Thy worlds. Assist me, then, through Thy strengthening grace, so to serve Thy Cause amidst Thy servants that I may show forth what will cause me to be remembered as long as Thine own kingdom endureth and Thy dominion will last.

This is Thy servant, O my Lord, who with his whole being hath turned unto the horizon of Thy bounty, and the ocean of Thy grace, and the heaven of Thy gifts. Do with me then as becometh Thy majesty, and Thy glory, and Thy bounteousness, and Thy grace.

Thou, in truth, art the God of strength and power, Who art meet to answer them that pray Thee. There is no God save Thee, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

 Bahá’u’lláh

 

Every child must be taught arts

Child's portrait 2001

O ye recipients of the favours of God! In this new and wondrous Age, the unshakeable foundation is the teaching of sciences and arts. According to explicit Holy Texts, every child must be taught crafts and arts, to the degree that is needful. Wherefore, in every city and village,  schools must be established and every child in that city or village is to engage in study to the necessary degree.
It followeth that whatever soul shall offer his aid to bring this about will assuredly be accepted at the heavenly Threshold, and extolled by the Company on high.
Since ye have striven hard toward this all-important end, it is my hope that ye will reap your reward from the Lord of clear tokens and signs, and that the glances of heavenly grace will turn your way.
‘Abdu’l-Baha

 

Artwork: a portrait of the web site administrator by a young artist

Happy Naw Rúz!

Flora 6Praised be Thou, O my God, that Thou hast ordained Naw-Ruz as a festival unto those who have observed the fast for love of Thee and abstained from all that is abhorrent unto Thee. Grant, O my Lord, that the fire of Thy love and the heat produced by the fast enjoined by Thee may inflame them in Thy Cause, and make them to be occupied with Thy praise and with remembrance of Thee.
Since Thou hast adorned them, O my Lord, with the ornament of the fast prescribed by Thee, do Thou adorn them also with the ornament of Thine acceptance, through Thy grace and bountiful favor. For the doings of men are all dependent upon Thy good-pleasure, and are conditioned by Thy behest. Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain.
Thou art He through Whom the ensign “Praiseworthy art Thou in Thy works” hath been lifted up, and the standard “Obeyed art Thou in Thy behest” hath been unfurled. Make known this Flora 8Thy station, O my God, unto Thy servants, that they may be made aware that the excellence of all things is dependent upon Thy bidding and Thy word, and the virtue of every act is conditioned by Thy leave and the good-pleasure of Thy will, and may recognize that the reins of men’s doings are within the grasp of Thine acceptance and Thy commandment. Make this known unto them, that nothing whatsoever may shut them out from Thy Beauty, in these days whereon the Christ exclaimeth: “All dominion is Thine, O Thou the Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus)”; and Thy Friend (Muhammad) crieth out: “Glory be to Thee, O Thou the Best-Beloved, for that Thou hast uncovered Thy Beauty, and written down for Thy chosen ones what will cause them to attain unto the seat of the revelation of Thy Most Great Name, through which all the peoples have lamented except such as have detached themselves from all else except Thee, and set themselves towards Him Who is the Revealer of Thyself and the Manifestation of Thine attributes.”
He Who is Thy Branch and all Thy company, O my Lord, have broken this day their fast, after having observed it within the precincts of Thy court, and in their eagerness to please Thee. Do Thou ordain for him, and for them, and for all such as have entered Thy presence in those days all the good Thou didst destine in Thy Book. Supply them, then, with that which will profit them, in both this life and in the life beyond.
Thou, in truth, art the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
Bahá’u’lláh